Bernard Bailey’s maiden 10-wicket match haul spurred Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) to their second Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA)/Noble House Seafoods two-day second division title after drawing their match against Police Sports Club but taking first innings points at GCC on Sunday.
Police made 107 in their first innings and GCC resuming on 80-3 on day two managed a 37-run lead as they were bowled out for 144 in 69.2 overs. Police then accelerated their second innings to declare on 151-9 in 30.3 overs, setting GCC 102 to win since Police were penalised 12 runs for missing the pace bowling rate by two overs. GCC finished on 88-3 to draw the game. Ronaldo Ali-Mohammed and Yeudister Persaud finished as the leading run getters in the two groups with Ali-Mohammed being awarded the Most Valuable Player of the group stage while Nkosie Barker finished with the most wickets.
Manager at Noble House Seafoods, Richard Jodah said the company was dedicated to the development of youths and cricket while President of the GCA, Roger Harper spoke at length of the keen competition but warned the players on the thin line when it comes to exuberance and aggression, noting that there were instances that went against the spirit of the game.
GCC established the lead just 10 overs into the day but Hemchand Persaud broke the 43-run partnership between Ali-Mohammed and Timothy McAlmont with Ali-Mohammed departing for 33 from 85 balls. Persaud struck the very next ball, removing Joshua Wade for a first ball duck.
Zachary Jodah was watchful in his innings, not bothered by what was happening amongst the busy Police in the field, facing 43 deliveries for just one run before falling to off spinner, Pernell London.
Stephon Wilson also fell without scoring as GCC quickly lost their last few wickets with McAlmont top scoring with 42 from 99 balls.
London was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-3 with Persaud and Jason Heyliger taking two wickets each. Police raced to clear their deficit before lunch, going in at 70 with Reginald Rodrigues putting on a 41-run stand for the opening wicket with Paul Tyndall. Rodrigues was later dismissed by Bailey before Savory was snapped up by Ali-Mohammed but the match was at a virtual stalemate with the field spread to the boundary for over an hour as the two seamers operated for 15 overs each. In the back end of the innings, Police lost their way with three run outs while Wilson pulled off a spectacular low diving catch coming in from mid off as Police only found solace in Tyndall who finished unbeaten on 73 from 92 balls.
Bailey added to his six wickets in the first innings to take 4-84, finishing with 10-120 while Ali-Mohammed collected 2-60 before the declaration.
Bailey said fast bowlers had to work extra hard on the wicket but all he did was put the ball in the right areas with his plans being to just keep a consistent line. He noted that Police batted patiently making it extra hard for the bowlers.
GCC were rocked in their chase for an outright win with Heyliger picking up three quick wickets but Ali-Mohammed’s unbeaten knock of 26 was enough to see the game to the end and he walked away with the $100,000 first prize.
Khemraj Jaikaran, skipper of GCC said all credit should go to the Police for playing a good game, noting that the youngsters in the team really won it for them with some exceptional fielding and excellent bowling, especially from Bailey.
Keston Harcourt who captains Police said they lost the game in the first innings and would have felt comfortable had they posted 170-odd. Harcourt expressed his unhappiness with some of the decisions, noting that in his opinion there was a lot of indiscipline from the players but nevertheless congratulated GCC.